Gaming tax revenue drops by 50pct y-on-y in Q1

Current revenue entering the Macau SAR public coffers has dropped by 38 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of this year to some MOP12.7 billion (US$1.5 billion), budget execution data published today (Thursday) reveals.

According to the information provided by the Financial Services Bureau (DSF), most of that drop originated from a 50 per cent cut in gaming tax revenues, which amounted to MOP9.1 billion between January and March.

Although January of last year remained a ‘normal’ month for local tourism as the pandemic impact started to reach the city, gaming revenues plunged by February and March, leading to a negative comparison with the first three months of this year despite a recovery in visitation numbers.

The Macau government’s tax collection to the gaming industry fell 74 per cent year-on-year in 2020 to MOP79.8 billion, as total current revenue dropped by 65 per cent.

However total spending by local authorities between January and March jumped by 11 per cent when compared to the same period of last year, amounting to some MOP15.9 billion.

Transfers, funding and subsidies still comprised the largest slice of public spending, some MOP11.2 billion, as authorities advanced with several economic support programmes to ease the impact of the pandemic.

Last year the Legislative Assembly approved a MOP26.6 billion injection from the financial reserve to counter the public administration deficit in 2021, with some MOP13.5 billion use in the first quarter.